Sunday, 16 February 2014

No Country for Old Men

After giving Fargo a good star rating on Lovefilm we received No Country for Old men. If I had not known they were directed and produced by the same people I would have figured it out quickly. It has the same deadpan delivery and the same stark landscapes. The film is set around a hunter who comes across a drug deal gone wrong and takes the money from the scene, he is then pursued by a ruthless and relentless killer.

Where Fargo had snow this has an expanse of vast and unforgiving desert with no shelter or comfort - this beautifully mirrors the main villain. Javier Bardem give an eerie performance with his huge stature and unwavering attitude. There is a lot of violence but oddly the cringes come from injuries. It has a 'wild west' feel but is undeniably modern with the vehicles and drug trafficking. There are also deaths that are left 'off camera' which in some ways are equally effective as it leaves it to your imagination.

It is filmed almost as if you are following a character as opposed to watching the events unfold from a distance and this gives a more intimate and at times harrowing perspective. One of the most striking things is that they are not afraid to use silence. This works incredibly well, there is no forced mood music or a need to fill screen time with dialogue. Yet again the performances are intentionally emotionally barren with dispair being the only emotion that reoccurs.

It does not have as much humour as Fargo, it is a sinister thriller set where crime is a regular backdrop and with a greater body count. They say the difference between a Shakespearian Comedy and Shakespearian Tragedy comes down to the end, and I think the Coen Brothers work on a similar principle.

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